How did I know that would be the result? What gave me the confidence I’d win that bet? I’ve been drinking my own Kool-Aid for the past three years. I’m a convert and a missionary, the doctor and the patient, the scientist and the test subject. I don’t think I’m the president of the club, but I’m most definitely a member.
The more important questions to ask are:
• How am I adapting to the changing buying culture?
• What has my experimentation and analytics shown me recently?
Marketers who don’t continually ask themselves those questions will eventually be replaced by those in companies who do. That should worry every auctioneer far more than the future of Facebook.
All of this is why my clients’s Facebook ads don’t read like newspaper ads or sale bills. People don’t buy auctions. They might not even buy things. People buy how those things make them feel, how those things solve a problem, how they assume those things will make their life better.
Mark Zuckerberg took days to respond to the uproar online and on TV news networks so that he could follow the advice of J Daniel Atlas, the protagonist of Now You See Me, a flick that featured illusionists plying their craft to perform Robin Hood-type heists: “First rule of magic: always be the smartest person in the room.” Zuckerberg offered an olive branch to the media, the government, and Facebook users. Along with that he secured Facebook’s place as the most advanced, intuitive platform for advertising for the foreseeable future. Even Terry Benedict’s casinos aren’t sophisticated enough to have seen this brilliant move coming. But now your company is. You’re welcome.
The auctioneers who look to use Cold War-era mindsets with post-9/11 media will be left in the shock known by so many Americans 15 months ago. They, too, will wonder how they were undone, how they weren’t understood, how they couldn’t outsell the competition. On the flip side, the first ones to see what the actual game is will be the only ones who can win it.
We wrongly assume our ideal buyers and sellers are just like us. We assume the marketplace looks at auctions and the assets in them through the same lens we do.
Zuckerberg’s agenda is just a continuation of a trend. Organic reach has been gradually dropping for years. For most business pages, unpaid reach has dropped below 50%—and in many cases below 25%—of the people who at one point liked those page. Facebook has been testing zero organic reach in six foreign countries. It’s reasonable to assume that we’re months—not years—from zero or near-zero organic reach here in the States.
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